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Financial Aid Eligibility

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that affect financial aid eligibility.

 Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC)

When you file the FAFSA, the Department of Education uses the information submitted to generate what’s called the “Expected Family Contribution,” or EFC. The EFC takes into consideration household size, number of people in college, income, and a variety of other factors. (If you are facing extenuating circumstances, please consider submitting a Professional Judgment form to our office).

In addition to your EFC, the Financial Aid office will use your "Cost of Attendance," or COA to determine your financial aid package. The COA is a budgeted amount that includes tuition, estimated fees, and estimated costs for books, transportation, and living expenses.  We’ll take your COA minus your EFC to get your financial need for assistance.

Some programs are need-based, meaning you will have to demonstrate financial need as calculated above to receive them. Other programs are merit-based, meaning demonstrated need is not a requirement—but they generally stipulate a certain GPA, community service requirement, etc. Your financial aid package could contain a variety of scholarships, grants, work study, or loans, depending on your need and merit-based awards.

Even if your financial need is low, you can still qualify for some programs—so file your FAFSA today!

Enrollment Status Requirements

Current regulations do not permit unclassified (non-degree seeking) students to receive any type of federal aid. Many aid programs, including institutional scholarships and the Access MO grant, are limited to full-time students (12-18 credit hours per semester).

However, three-quarter time (9-11 credit hours) and half-time (6-8 credit hours) degree-seeking students may qualify for aid through the Pell Grant program, Direct Stafford Loan program and/or the Parent PLUS Loan for Undergraduate Students.

A student enrolled in a teacher certification program is considered the same as a fifth-year undergraduate student, but can only receive aid through the Direct Stafford Loan program. 

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

A student who receives financial aid based on full-time enrollment must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester for a total of 24 credit hours per academic year. A student receiving financial aid based on three-quarter time enrollment (9-11 hours per semester) must complete a minimum of nine credit hours per semester for a total of 18 credit hours per academic year. A student receiving financial aid based on half-time enrollment (six to eight hours per semester) must complete a minimum of six credit hours per semester for a total of 12 credit hours per academic year. Successful completion requires a grade of A, B, C, D or P. A grade of I, F, NP or W is not acceptable. Evaluation of hours earned occurs at the end of the fall and spring semesters.

Failure to properly withdraw from class could result in loss of financial aid. Please notify the financial aid office immediately upon your decision to stop attending class.

If the student does not complete the required number of credit hours in a given academic year, the university may grant one semester of financial aid probation so that the student can make up the necessary work. If the deficiency is not made up, financial aid will be terminated until such deficiency is made up. Failure to complete at least six credit hours in a semester in which financial aid is awarded will result in termination of aid for the next semester and no financial aid probation being extended.

Students denied aid because of lack of progress must take courses at their own expense until they reach the minimum number of hours for which aid was previously given. For example, if a student, granted aid for full-time enrollment (24 credit hours), completes 18 credit hours in an academic year, the student must complete six credit hours at their own expense before the university awards additional aid. A student previously denied aid that later completes the minimum required hours, should make an appointment with the director of financial aid to discuss future eligibility for financial aid.

If students believe that extenuating circumstances exist which have prevented them from making satisfactory progress, they should send an appeal in writing to the director of financial aid stating the basis for the appeal and providing any appropriate documentation. The director of financial aid will review all such appeals. The decision will be final.

Please remember, all loans must be repaid even if you have stopped the program due to withdrawal, leave of absence, termination or non-attendance.